Rumors about the sexuality of singer and actress Queen Latifah have circulated throughout her career. They were intensified by her 19 May performance at the Long Beach Gay Pride parade. She recently told the magazine Entertainment Weekly that showing up at a gay pride event should not be interpreted as her ‘coming out.’
‘That definitely wasn’t the case,’ she said. ‘I’ve never dealt with the question of my personal life in public. It’s just not gonna happen.’
Despite this she voiced her support for her gay fans and the overall LGBT community.
‘I know that the most important thing and the only thing I have to give is love. When people are going through hatred and bullying, the biggest thing to fight that is love. So that’s all I encouraged my audience to do that night: to share their light and share their love. Period.’
She also noted her history of playing in front of gay audiences. In the early 1990s, she and the late Tupac Shakur appeared on stage together in San Francisco.
‘To me, doing a gay pride show is one of the most fun things. My first show that paid more than $10,000 was in a gay club on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. Tupac happened to be in town, so he came to kick it with me. This was the early ’90s. And the boys were like, "Take your shirt off, Tupac!" He wasn’t doing that. But we had a blast in there.’
The actress started the year by sharing the big screen with another gay positive performer. She and country singer icon Dolly Parton teamed up for a movie called Joyful Noise. Latifah will soon star in a television remake of the film Steel Magnolias. The original came out in 1989, starring Parton, Julia Roberts, and Sally Field. The new version will have an all African-American cast.